Monday, September 06, 2010

When I can scrounge the time, this is what I have been reading, savoring the stories and wondering how a people who are almost us, are not quite, you know, us; and as a matter of fact quite a little different, all said and done sixty-odd years isn’t much when edifices around span a few centuries.

In the few stories that I’ve read, something seems to happen to the women’s brains once they have a dominant male in their lives. What does being sharp and jabra (which I’ll politely translate as being self preserving, so sue me) have to do with being educated or being rustic? An instinct for this self preservation is inherent to the gender across the subcontinent, but the women in these stories seem positively addled, vacuous by the second half of the story, which almost always leaves them destitute and abandoned. My unlettered grandmother who ran a tight household with her temper and flying missile-tongs, would have laughed.


Ricercar said...

the book looks interesting. will look it up. thank you :-)

about the self preservation instinct and character variation in people, i would suspect there would be a full range of personality types in any social or geographic grouping that you draw. we are all the same species of animal, after all. further, the particular socio-cultural circumstances that each individual is subject to would also vary, i would think

Leni Qinan said...

Unfortunately there are educated and rustic jabras, you'll find them in both modalities... they must have it in the genes.

That was a fantastic reading. Thank you for the link.

AmitL said...

Hi,Austy-nice review, though the book does sound depressing..@ the women, well, u need to traverse places in the Gulf to check this out-even though many have now become more modern, many remain traditional and bound to such 'addled' can see it even while walking on the streets..guess it's the worldwide cultural divide of personality types,as Ricercar says. Thank heavens we are what and where we are!(My first 'thank you' for the day(ref my latest post)

austere said...

Ricer-- interesting in parts, particularly the characterization in Nawabddin and the judge's story. Read "Saleema" and "Provide, provide" and check if they don't seem repetitive?
Yes, but taking care of yor own interest, even survival is basic to the species, don't you think?
jabra is good, in my opinion.

Leni- thanks.Some jabra-ness is part of the gender,or must be, which is just as well.

Amit- addled temporarily I can understand, but one needs to look after one's interests, does one not? akaal ko istamal karni chahiye ki nahi?
Oh yes, absolutely thank heavens.

PQ said...

I wonder if men also have these changes with dominant women around

austere said...

Maybe they do, maybe.

Riffat in Our Lady of Paris is astounding. AMAZING work. What a woman.